31 May 2017
SCI America is pleased to announce that the prestigious SCI Perkin Medal will be awarded to Dr. Ann E. Weber, Senior Vice President for Drug Discovery at Kallyope, Inc. This annual award is recognised as the highest honour given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. Dr Weber will receive the award to recognise her work in the field of medicinal chemistry, especially her work leading to the development of the drugs JANUVIA® and JANUMET® for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
“Dr Weber is an exceptional research scientist whose mastery of medicinal chemistry has impacted millions of lives,” said Christopher D. Pappas, President and CEO of Trinseo, and Chair of SCI America. “Her passion to improve the human condition, coupled with her strong leadership skills have had a profound influence on pharmaceutical innovation.”
In her role at Kallyope Inc., a New York City-based biotechnology company, she is responsible for translating biology arising from the company’s state-of the-art technology platform into drug discovery and development programs. She retired in November 2015 from Merck & Co., where she most recently held the position of Vice President - Lead Optimisation Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents across disease areas. She joined MRL as a Senior Research Chemist in 1987.
Dr. Weber’s research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Her work has led to over 40 development candidates, including JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), JANUMET®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin, and MARIZEV® (omarigliptin), a once-weekly treatment for Type 2 diabetes that was approved in Japan in September 2015. An additional drug candidate, vibegron for the treatment of an overactive bladder, is in late stage clinical trials.
Dr. Weber is the author and co-author of over 80 publications. She is co-inventor on over 35 issued US patents. Her awards include the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (American Chemical Society, ACS) the Heroes of Chemistry Award (ACS), the Discoverer’s Award (PhRMA), recognising scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind, and a Directors’ Award, the highest honour that Merck confers to employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honouree and the recipient of the 2015 Gift of Mentoring Award from the Metro Women Chemists Committee. In 2016 she was named to the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (ACS).
Before joining Merck, Dr. Weber obtained her B.S. degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her PhD from Harvard University, studying synthetic organic chemistry in the laboratories of David A. Evans.
Dr. Weber will receive the Perkin Medal at a dinner held in her honour on Tuesday 12 September 2017, at the Hilton Penn’s Landing Hotel in Philadelphia.